NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2001

7:30 PM


APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE JANUARY 4, 2001 MEETING: Mr. Lionetti made the following amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes:1
Page 5, paragraph 5: Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if there was any difficulty with the building being separated for three uses in structure. Changed to read:
Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if there was any difficulty with the building being separated for three "separated" uses in "the" structure.
Page 6, paragraph 3:
There was not response. Changed to read: There was "no" response.
Mr. Ragan made the following amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes:

Page 5, 4th paragraph from the bottom of the page:
Mr. Newhard resides to the left of Walnut and looks directly over the property. Changed to read: Mr. Newhard resides to the left "of the Tanner property on" Walnut "Street" and looks directly over the property. 
Page 5, 3rd paragraph from the bottom of the page: Mr. Lionetti inquired if this is a new entrance has been constructed. Change to read: Mr. Lionetti inquired if "the" new entrance has been constructed.
Page 7, paragraph 3, first sentence:
There presently are not buffers on this property. Changed to read: There presently are "no" buffers on this property.
Page 4, paragraph 8: Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a drawling dated January 3, 2001 of the proposed elevation of the building. Changed to read: Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a drawling "s", dated January 3, 2001, of the proposed elevation of the building.
Page 4, paragraph 10:
Ms. Tanner indicated that Charlton William, a Realtor, is very interested in renting the bottom floor of this property. Ms. Tanner indicated that "William Charlton", a Realtor, is very interested in renting the bottom floor of this property.
Page 6, 1st paragraph:
He asked if the Tanner's would consider resubmitting an application without the parking on the south side of the property or requesting a variance to reduce the parking lot sizes, so the number of parking lots would not be necessary; therefore eliminating this request and the request for buffering all together. Changed to read: He asked if the Tanner's would consider resubmitting an application without the parking on the south side of the property or requesting a variance to reduce the parking lot sizes, so the number of parking "spaces" would not be necessary; therefore eliminating this request and the request for buffering all together. Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board if they had any further amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes. The Board had no further comments. 
Motion was made by Franklin Carver to approve the January 4, 2001 minutes, as amended. Thomas Ragan seconded motion. 
Motion granted unanimously.
     1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, January 4, 2001, in the Newtown Township Municipal Building. In attendance and voting are: Mario Lionetti, Chairman, Thomas Ragan, Vice-Chairman, John Lenihan, Secretary, Franklin Carver, Member and Michael Leone, Member. Also in attendance is Shawn D. Ward, Solicitor.

CALL TO ORDER

Mario Lionetti, Chairman calls the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED

Annual Board Reorganization

Approval of Minutes Thursday, November 2, 2000

Application of Laura Jean Tanner & William Tanner, III.

Adjournment

ANNUAL BOARD REORGANIZATION

The Annual Board Reorganization will be postponed to the next Zoning Board Meeting scheduled for February 1, 2001 so that the Board may hold an executive session to discuss administrative issues.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 2, 2000 MEETING

Mr. Ragan made the following amendments and/or changes to the November 2, 2000 minutes:1

Page 3, paragraph 3:

Mr. Ragan requested if Mr. Parsons had letters authorization this replacement from his Homeowners Association. Change to read:

Mr. Ragan request if Mr. Parsons had "a" letter "of" authorization "of" this replacement from his Homeowners Association.

Page 4, paragraph 6:

Mr. Ward asked Mr. Pizzuto if he was the record owner of 12 Amy Circle? Mr. Pizzuto said yes, he and his wife. Mr. Ward asked if this was TMP #29-19-44. Mr. Pizzuto yes. Mr. Ward also inquired as to if this property was being used as a residence? Mr. Pizzuto said yes. Change to read:

Mr. Ward asked Mr. Pizzuto if he was the record owner of "33 Amy Circle?" Mr. Pizzuto said yes, he and his wife "are the record owners of the property". Mr. Ward asked if this was TMP #29-19-44. Mr. Pizzuto said yes. Mr. Ward also inquired "as to" if this property was being used as a residence? Mr. Pizzuto said yes. Take out "as to".

Page 5, last paragraph, first sentence:

Ms. Kieffer describes (Page 2 of the A-1) where the signed called "The Kitchen" is to be installed on the new part of the facade and (Page 3 of A-1) which gives a better idea of the look of the sign. Change to read:

Ms. Kieffer describes (Page 2 of the "Exhibit" A-1) where the "sign" called "The Kitchen" is to be installed on the new part of the facade and (Page 3 of A-1) which gives a better idea of the look of the sign.

Page 6, paragraph 5, first sentence:

Mr. Lionetti inquired if this is a new entrance has been constructed. Change to read: 

Mr. Lionetti inquired if "the" new entrance has been constructed.

Page 7, paragraph 3, first sentence:

 Mr. Harwood was asked if there is a variance with regard to the neon sign? Change to read:

Mr. Harwood was asked if there is a variance "request" with regard to the neon sign?

Page 7, second to the last sentence:

Applicant represented Ed Murphy. Change to read:

Applicant "was" represented "by" Ed Murphy

Page 8, second paragraph:

Mr. Murphy presents testimony providing a brief background and advises that there are two members of this Board sitting which were present in May of 1995 when a prior presentation was made before this Board initially. Change to read:

Mr. Murphy presents testimony providing a brief background and advises that there are two members of this Board sitting "who" were present in May of 1995 when a prior presentation was made before this Board initially.

Page 8, third paragraph:

Thereafter, other permits and approvals, including Penn Dot where obtained. Change to read:

Thereafter other permits and approvals, including Penn Dot "were" obtained.

Page 9, paragraph 5, last sentence:

Mr. Carver reiterated this point and inquired if the 4,136 sq. ft. was going to be adequate, which Mr. Gifford said yes. Change to read:

Mr. Carver reiterated this point and inquired if the 4,136 sq. ft. was going to be adequate, "to" which Mr. Gifford said yes.

Page 9, paragraph 6, first sentence:

Mr. Gifford gives summary of his place of worship as strictly a bible educational center. Change to read:

Mr. Gifford gives "a" summary of his place of worship as strictly a bible educational center.

Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board if they had any further amendments and/or changes to the November 2, 2000 minutes. The Board had no further comments.

Motion was made by Franklin Carver to approve the November 2, 2000 minutes as amended. Motion was seconded by Michael Leone.

Motion granted unanimously.

1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.

APPLICATION OF LAURA JEAN TANNER & WILLIAM TANNER, III.

Mr. Lenihan read in the application of Jean Tanner & William Tanner, III, record owner, TMP #29-11-47, seeking: a variance from Section 601(A) to permit Office Use [Sec. 803(D-1)] in the C-C Convenience Commercial District: a variance from Sec. 601(B)(1) to permit a maximum impervious surface in excess of 50%; a variance from Sec. 803(D-1)(5) for minimum required parking; 1001(F)(6)(a) to permit off-street parking within 20 feet from any street right of way line and/or within ten feet of a property line; and, a variance from 1001(F)(6)(b) (relating to buffering and screening requirements).

The applicants were represented by themselves.

Sworn in by court reporter.

Mario Lionetti asks if there are any parties present wishing to be part of the application?

Mr. Phil Newhard request to be a party to this application. Mr. Newhard resides at 58 German Avenue, Newtown, PA.

Before proceeding, Shawn Ward, Solicitor, enters into evidence:

(1) Zoning Board Exhibit 1 - Application for Hearing, with all attachments.

(2) Zoning Board Exhibit 2 - Proof of Mailing.

(3) Zoning Board Exhibit 3 - Certification of Posting of Zoning Notice.

(4) Zoning Board Exhibit 4 - Certification of Mailing.

Ms. Tanner greets the Board and discusses that the variances requested are pretty straightforward. The plan is for an office building as to opposed to how it exists presently. Ms. Tanner presents a plan, which is marked in as Exhibit A-1, and attached to the application. Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a drawling dated January 3, 2001, of the proposed elevation of the building.

Ms. Tanner indicated that they would like to make office use of this building. Presently there is a home attached to this building that they have lived in. They would like to rent the home to someone they know and keep this portion a residence. This is a separate residence with a firewall separating it from the building.

Mr. Lenihan asked if they had any potential occupants interested in renting this office space? Ms. Tanner indicated that Charlton William, a Realtor, is very interested in renting the bottom floor of this property. In the future, they (Tanners) would like to possibly rent the upstairs of this building. The resident portion would remain residential.

Mr. Lionetti asked what the total square footage of the building was. Ms. Tanner indicated it is 4,725 square feet per floor. In the back of the building is Vincent's Auto Repair; this is not part of the 4,725 square footage nor is the house.

Mr. Ward asked if the 4,725 square foot includes the garage at the right foot corner of the map. Ms. Tanner said yes. This would remain the access to the residence but, again, this is not in the 4,725 sq. ft. calculation.

Mr. Leone asked if the repair shop was going to stay. Ms. Tanner said yes. He further questioned if there was a driveway off of Wayne Avenue. Ms. Tanner indicated that there is "no" Wayne Avenue even though the map shows a Wayne Avenue, there is no physical street.

Mr. Ragan asked if there was a separate entrance to the second floor of this building. Ms. Tanner said yes. The door is 3 ft. to 6 ft. off the right of the garage doors. She pointed to this on the photoboard.

Mr. Lionetti requested that Tom Harwood be sworn in for testimony.

Mr. Harwood was sworn in.

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if there was any difficulty with the building being separated for three uses in structure. Mr. Harwood said no from a zoning standpoint. There is a dwelling, auto repair shop and office use on this property. This is not difficulty as this property is zoned "mixed-use".

Michael Leone asked Mr. Harwood if the requested variance in parking 1001(F)(4) and 1001(F)(6)(b), is sufficient and whether this would remain the case should additional occupants occupy the second floor of this building. Mr. Harwood said if an additional occupant is looking to move into the building, they would be required to request an Use and Occupancy Permit. The present relief being sought is for the use of the lower floor only; therefore this application as submitted is not a problem.

Mario Lionetti asked if anyone had any questions.

At that time, Mr. Newhard was sworn in for testimony.

Mr. Newhard first thanked the board for the invitation to attend this meeting and for their support in maintaining Newtown Township. He asked the Tanners if they intended to remove the old trees on this property. Ms. Tanner indicated that they did not intend to remove any trees; however, one of the trees is diseased, which may need to be removed.

Mr. Newhard resides to the left of Walnut and looks directly over the property. Mr. Ragan indicated that Mr. Newhard does not abut the Tanner's property.

There presently are not buffers on this property. The trees act as buffers but you can see through them. There are many maple and sycamore trees on the property.

Mr. Lenihan inquired if there is a sign. Mr. Tanner indicated that there is a sign, which has been used for the past 20 years that says, "Tanner Lawn Equipment".

Mr. Lionetti refers back to relief sought in 1001(F)(6)(A), which requires off street parking to be located 9 feet from the public street right of way and 9 feet from the property line. He asked if the Tanner's would consider resubmitting an application without the parking of the south side of the property or requesting a variance to reduce the parking lot sizes, so the number of parking lots would not be necessary; therefore eliminating this request and the request for buffering all together.

After thought, Mr. and Ms. Tanner said no. They do not wish to resubmit and delay the application further. She asked if they could move forward on the application for the first floor only and would come back if and when they look to renovate the second floor of this building.

Mario Lionetti asked if there was any further comment or argument prior to making a decision on this application. There was not response.

Motion was made by Mr. Lenihan granting 601(A) to permit office use [Sec. 803(D-1)] in the CC Convenience Commercial District; 601(B) to allow 52% impervious surface where the maximum allowable impervious surface ration is 50%; 1001(F)(4) permitting parking within the minimum front yard; 1001(F)(6)(a) providing that no off-street parking shall be less than 20 feet from any public street right-of-way or 10 feet from any property line, thus permitting off-street parking to be located 9 feet from the public street right-of-way and 9 feet from the property line; and, 1001(F)(6)(b) to permit off-street parking without a buffer from the street or other residential uses. Motion was seconded by Mr. Ragan with the addition that all spaced to be used at entranceway is to be used as a reserve.

Motion granted unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by Mr. Lionetti to adjourn meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Leone.

Motion carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:

 

__________________________________
Andrea Hulbrink, Recording Secretary